tv CBS Morning News CBS December 21, 2010 4:30am-5:00am EST
stormy weather, as more rain rushes into california, the people prepare for possible major flooding. and dangerous mudslides. terror threat. the government warns the food industry al qaeda may target salad bars and buffets with poison. and eclipse of the moon. a rare total eclipse for all of and eclipse of the moon. a rare total eclipse for all of america to see. captioning funded by cbs good morning, everybody, on this tuesday. good to see you this morning. i'm terrell brown, in for betty nguyen.
this morning, sunny california is turning more into a swamp. the biggest storm in several years dumped up to a foot of rain in just a few days. it's as much as the state usually sees over several months. forecasters say it will only get worse in the next few days. kendis gibson reports. >> reporter: relentless rains have made a major mess of southern california. more than eight inches of rain have pounded the area in less than a week, causing flooding and rock slides. 2,000 residents in the farming community of mcfarland were cleared to return home after flood threats to hundreds of homes prompted an evacuation recommendation. california highway patrol shut down a six-mile stretch of highway near the malibu coastline because of rock slides. >> it doesn't look good, especially for the month of rain that we're going to have coming in the next 48 hours or so. >> reporter: forecasters say some areas could get as much as ten more inches of rain by thursday morning. not good for areas already hit
hard. >> the more they say it's going to keep on raining for the next three days, i mean for more days. >> reporter: of most concern, the community of la quinnada flintridge. the area was burned in recent fires and residents have been preparing sandbags worrying heavy rains will result in mudslides. >> i have to worry all that protection we have over there is going to be in place and i have to worry we aren't going to get stuff coming down where the hill was burned. >> reporter: some residents aren't letting that dampen their christmas spirit. they decorated the "k" rails designed to hold back floodwaters. but homeowners are still keeping watch. >> everything is saturated. the basement was collecting water and debris and mud. we were watching. but yeah it's still draining. so that's important. >> reporter: that basin will be tested to the max over the next couple of days. kendis gibson, cbs news, flint ridge. meanwhile forecasters say colorado mountains could get as much as 6 to 8 feet of snow in the next few days. that means serious headaches for
drivers on interstate 70, the main east-to-west highway. some cars are getting stranded. the storm is also packing strong winds up to 80 miles an hour. and overseas europe is in the fifth day of its winter travel nightmare. one of its biggest airports, frankfurt, germany, had to shut down this morning after a new storm. in london airports and train stations are still full of stranded travelers. london's mayor is criticizing heathrow airport officials for not doing a better job of snow removal. to the latest terror threat now reported against the u.s. intelligence officials say it doesn't involve bombs or airplanes. this time the target is food. armen keteyian has the story. >> reporter: cbs news has learned the latest terror attack to america involves the possible use of poison. simultaneous attacks targeting hotels and restaurants, at many locations over a single weekend. a key intelligence source has confirmed the threat as credible. department of homeland security officials, along with members of the department of agriculture
and fda, have already briefed a small group of corporate security officers from the hotel and restaurant industries about it. >> we operate under the premise that individuals prepare to carry out terrorist acts are in this country. >> reporter: the plot, uncovered earlier this year, is said to involve the use of two poisons. ricin and cyanide. slipped into salad bars and buffets. of particular concern, the plotters are believed to be tied to the same terror group that attempted to blow up cargo planes over the east coast in october. al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. >> initially it would look very similar to food poisoning. >> reporter: leading to a difficult debate. the need to inform the public, without alarming it. >> these things are a delicate dance on a good day. >> reporter: former homeland security secretary michael chertoff. >> a threat that you might feel is sufficiently specific and
credible to tell the people who are professionally involved might not be specific or credible enough to tell the general public. >> reporter: chertoff says it's important to let local health officials know that what looks like food poisoning could be a terrorist attack. but the fact remains the government and hospitality industry are on alert. armen keteyian, cbs news, new york. the homeland security secretary says 12 terror suspects arrested in britain are not connected to any u.s. threat. the suspects were picked up for questioning in early morning raids yesterday. police had been watching them for several weeks. officials believe they were planning a significant attack. but didn't give any specifics. on capitol hill, the lame duck senate is closer to approving the new s.t.a.r.t. arms control treaty with russia. the treaty needs 67 votes. several republicans now say they will join democrats in voting yes. a vote could be held today to cut off debate and schedule a final vote. also on capitol hill, the democrats have a lot on their to-do list. one is a bill to pay medical
expenses for police, fire and medical personnel suffering from 9/11-related illnesses. preeti arla is in washington with the latest on that. preeti, good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning, terrell. it has been an emotional debate over that legislation to help those workers. now there have been changes to the bill. one big change is the cost was scaled back from $7.4 billion to $6.2 billion. now 9/11 first responders are pressuring congress to pass the legislation before they leave for the holiday. first responders who got sick at ground zero are taking their fight to washington. >> to me this is a no-brainer. we're going to get this done. >> reporter: this morning the rally at the white house and capitol hill, urging congress to pass a bill that would provide billions of dollars for their health care. a previous version of the measure passed the house, but failed to get a vote in the senate this month. >> it's a lot of money, and so, my early response is that i am skeptical about that bill. >> reporter: but now that lawmakers have trimmed the final
price tag and changed how to pay for it, supporters believe they have the votes to get the job done. >> the men and women who answered the call on september 11th were absolutely obligated to pass this bill for them. >> reporter: the house and the senate would both need to approve the revised bill before the new congress convenes next month, or else it's back to the drawing board. 14,000 first responders are currently living with illnesses they contracted after inhaling the dust at the world trade center site. >> i remember him coming home just covered in it. >> reporter: like her husband robert, passage even now comes too late. a police officer, robert spent months at ground zero after the attack. within four years he had full-blown colorectal cancer, within six years he was dead at the age of 43. >> especially for such a great man, who up until the end, said to me, i just want to get better so i can go back to work. >> reporter: the hope now is
congress will act soon to help those who helped the country when it needed it most. as far as paying for the legislation, the plan is to impose a fee on foreign firms doing business here in the u.s., and terrell, another vote is expected on the bill either today or tomorrow. >> thanks, preeti arla in washington for us. thank you. to the war now in afghanistan. a nato spokesman there is denying a report that u.s. commanders want to expand american operations in pakistan. officials tell "the new york times" that the plan is still under discussion. u.s. forces have only rarely crossed the border to track down military targets. enemy forces routinely travel between pakistan and afghanistan. this morning china is calling on its ally north korea to let international nuclear inspectors back in to make sure they're not making fuel for nuclear weapons. after four days of talks in north korea, former u.n. ambassador bill richardson says the north koreans promised to do just that. he believes after the latest border dispute with south korea the north is acting more
realistic. >> a view perhaps that they'd moved a little too far down the precipice and that it was time to come back and pull back and start negotiations again. >> a state department spokesman said if north korea really wants to resume nuclear inspections it should tell the u.n. agency directly. just ahead on the morning news on this tuesday, a check of the overseas markets and on "moneywatch" report with ashley morrison. plus a rare lunar eclipse on the start of winter solstice. first, though, katie couric has a preview of tonight's "cbs evening news." >> the billionaire's giving pledge. we'll talk with two billionaires who have signed up to give away the majority of their wealth to charity. so that story and more tonight, only on the "cbs evening news." [ female announcer ] keurig has over 200 varieties
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shadow created by the earth. maximum blockage of the sun's rays lasted about an hour or so. this lunar eclipse also occurred on the same day as the winter solstice. the first time that's happened since 1638. 372 years ago. on the "cbs moneywatch" stocks in asia got a shot in the arm this morning. ashley morrison is here with more. ashley, good morning to you. >> good morning, terrell. investors in asia went hunting for bargains. japan's nikkei gained more than 1.5%. its biggest daily gain in three weeks while hong kong's hang seng added 1.5%. on wall street trading has been light at the start of this holiday week. on monday the dow lost 13 points while the nasdaq added 6. toyota has agreed to pay the government more than 32 million dollars in additional fines over its handling of two recalls. the money will settle investigations into stuck accelerator pedals and loss of steering control. it brings toyota's total government fines to nearly $50 million.
a big change is on the way for social security. the checks will no longer be in the mail. starting may 1st, new recipients of social security will have to accept paperless payments. those already on social security will have until march 1st 2013 to make the switch to direct deposit, or a debit card. a huge vote is looming on the future of the internet. in a push to stop phone and cable companies from discriminating against certain types of web traffic, the head of the ftc says there are enough votes to pass a so-called net neutrality rule. providers will be forced to let subscribers access all legal online content, even ones that compete with their businesses. and if you procrastinated on buying those gifts, you may be in trouble. according to "usa today," some of the hottest gifts are no longer around. some of the items that had people out in the cold, well, you've got the kindle three from amazon.com, the microsoft xbox
kinect, and monster high dolls from toys "r" us. terrell, don't start fretting over there because i did already get you your monster high doll. >> thanks, ashley. appreciate it. ashley morrison in new york. thanks. when we come back we'll check your weather forecast on this tuesday. and in sports, the bears clinched the division titles on monday night football. we'll be right back. [ female announcer ] with rheumatoid arthritis, there's the life you live... and the life you want to live. fortunately there's enbrel, the #1 most doctor-prescribed biologic medicine for ra. enbrel can help relieve pain, stiffness, fatigue, and stop joint damage. because enbrel suppresses your immune system, it may lower your ability to fight infections. serious, sometimes fatal, events including infections, tuberculosis, lymphoma, and other cancers, and nervous system and blood disorders have occurred. before starting enbrel,
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here's a look at the weather in some cities around the country. sunny and 35 degrees in new york. 71 and sunny in miami. 35 degrees with freezing rain in chicago. partly cloudy and 77 in dallas. and 59 with rain in los angeles. there's plenty of snow in some places, like near indianapolis. steady snow was falling yesterday, up to two inches. winter weather advisory is in effect until this afternoon. snow flurries and icy conditions are expected this morning. now for a check of the national forecast, partly cloudy skies in the southern plains and southeast. the southwest is seeing more soaking rains and heavy snowfall. the northeast is looking at scattered clouds, and snow showers are moving in from the ocean. later today, throughout the western and central great lakes will be the chance of snow as the system moves nearby. behind it are cold air but sunny skies in the northern plains. the southwest has more rain and snow on the way, and the southern plains are enjoying sunshine and very warm
temperatures. in sports this morning, chicago won the nfc north division on monday night football. to the highlights we go. hester ran back a punt 64 yards for a touchdown. a new nfl career record with 14 kickoff returns for a score. jay cutler connected for three touchdowns against minnesota, 40-14. the bears win. the bears! the vikings' brett favre left the game after a head injury. in the nba, san antonio still has the best record in the league. the spurs tony parker had 19 points. richard jefferson added 17 against phoenix. the 118-110 win for san antonio was their ninth straight. and jason terry of dallas scored all 19 of his points in the fourth quarter against miami. the 98-96 victory over the heat is the mavericks' 15th win in their last 16 games. let's take a quick break. when we come back another look at this morning's top stories. and water worries. a carcinogen is found in the tap water of dozens of u.s. cities. ter of dozens of u.s. cities.
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,,,,,,,, on the "cbs morning news" here's a look at today's weather. the country very active in some areas but three systems causing problems. snow and winds in northern new england, snow and rain showers with a storm impacting the great lakes and heavy rains and snow in the southwest. another look at this morning's top stories. water-logged california bracing for several more inches of rain. many homeowners are stacking up sandbags to protect against flooding and mudslides. the state's biggest rainstorm in more than five years. and the senate may cut off debate today on the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty and vote on it as early as tomorrow. more republicans say they'll support the arms treaty with russia. they need a two-thirds vote to approve it. there are new concerns about the safety of our drinking water. a study of tap water in 35 u.s. cities found chromium-6, a carcinogen, in 31 of them.
bill whitaker has more. >> reporter: for many americans, something as common and simple as drinking water from the tap might be harmful to your health. that, according to the environmental report out today. municipal water supplies in four california cities were found to have chromium-6, a chemical compound known to cause cancer, at levels higher than state scientists deem safe. california has proposed a strict limit for chromium-6 in tap water of 0.06 parts per billion. the average found in the 35 u.s. cities, 0.18 parts per billion. chromium-6, also known as hexavalent chromium is used for making steel, paper, leather, it's spewed into the air and seeped into the groundwater, most infamously in hinkley, california. in a case made famous by the julia roberts' movie "erin brockovich" pacific gas & electric paid a $333 million settlement to 660 hinkley residents who claimed the alarming number of cancers
in town a decade ago were linked to drinking water contaminated with chromium-6 from a nearby plant. today no state regulates chromium-6 in drinking water. california is the only state to require testing for the compound. in glendale near l.a. the water works is looking for cost-effective ways to meet the stringent standards california has proposed for chromium-6 in drinking water. the authors of today's study urge the epa to act quickly to set national standards. the epa plans to issue a review of chromium-6 in the water next year. bill whitaker, cbs news, los angeles. and the boston pops had a shaq attack. the celtics shaquille o'neal was a guest conductor. the 7'1" center towered over the podium and got into the christmas spirit. ♪ o'neal said he has a whole new
respect for conductors because his arms were killing him after dress rehearsal. come on, shaq. this morning on "the early show" an exclusive interview with larry king. i'm terrell brown. this is the "cbs morning news." [ female announcer ] keurig has over 200 varieties of gourmet coffee and tea to choose from. it's the way to individually brew fresh, delicious coffee in under a minute. way to brew, hon. [ female announcer ] choose. brew. enjoy. keurig. [ female announcer ] choose. brew. enjoy. ah, it's stinging a little bit more than usual! yeah, you'll get used to it. the longer you keep your high mileage car,